|Last updated: 30-Jan-2004 10:19||7 Invitees -Lithuania|
The defence of Lithuania is based on the principle that the Lithuanian armed forces will deter and defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional order of Lithuania in conjunction with the Allied Forces. In concert with NATO, Lithuania also contributes to global and regional stability through the promotion of good neighbourly relations and regional co-operation, active participation in peace support and crises response operations, a transparent defence policy as well as confidence and security building measures. In order to meet the new challenges to security of Lithuania and the Allied community and in line with the commitments made to the Alliance, Lithuania is carrying out an extensive restructuring and modernisation of its Armed Forces. The ultimate goal of Lithuanian defence reform is the creation of small, modern, well-equipped forces, which are mobile, deployable and sustainable, capable to participate in the full-spectrum of Alliance operations.
The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and chairs the State Defence Council, where the most significant issues of national defence are discussed and co-ordinated. The Parliament is responsible for the timely adoption of laws and other legal acts needed to implement national security objectives. Assignations for the development of the armed forces and major armament procurements are set by Parliament. Parliament also implements parliamentary control of the national defence system. The Government ensures the inviolability of the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, guarantees security and public order, and directs the implementation of national security measures. The Ministry of National Defence (MoND) is responsible for the formulation and implementation of defence policy, consistent with the security objectives of the Republic of Lithuania, and the strategic management of defence resources.
The Minister of National Defence is responsible for development of defence policy, including the efficient use and control of resources. The Minister is supported by a Vice-Minister, a State Secretary and three MoND Undersecretaries.
The Defence Staff is subordinated to the Commander of the Armed Forces (CAF). CAF exercises command authority over the Armed Forces. He advises the President and Minister of National Defence on military matters and is responsible for drafting force planning requirements, including personnel strength levels, military structures, and equipment requirements.
The Armed Forces:
The Lithuanian Armed Forces consist of Land Forces, Air Forces and Naval
Forces. The peacetime structure is reinforced, in wartime, by Border
Guard and Special Police units of the Ministry of Interior.
The trilateral (Estonian/Latvian/Lithuanian) project BALTBAT has been completed. The project was very beneficial to all three Baltic States because sergeants, NCOs, and commissioned officers were trained according to NATO standards and requirements. Leadership as well as combat skills of the Baltic troops were also assessed and commended by NATO experts during BALTBAT troop participation in military exercises, international peace enforcement and peacekeeping operations.
LITPOLBAT: The 784-strong joint Polish/Lithuanian battalion (LITPOLBAT) is designed for international operations aimed at supporting and restoring peace and security as well as international humanitarian and rescue operations. It includes two Lithuanian companies and two companies from the Polish Army’s 4th Brigade. In 2000, LITPOLBAT was identified as a component of the Rapid Reaction Forces formed by the EU. Another objective of the battalion is to be also included in NATO-led multinational forces for implementation of international peace operations. The LITPOLBAT platoon is currently participating in the international operation in Iraq.
BALTNET: The joint Baltic Regional Air Surveillance Network (BALTNET), established in co-operation between the Air Forces of the three Baltic States, consists of a single Regional Air Surveillance Co-ordination Centre (RASCC) located in Karmelava (Lithuania) and three national centres located in each of the participating countries. The RASCC collects radar data from the three countries and produces a full air picture of the region, which is then forwarded to the three national information centres. BALTNET is NATO-interoperable and will be connected with the NATO network.